Gov. Doyle Speaks Out Against Ban at Chamber Dinner
Last night, Governor Jim Doyle spoke at the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce annual dinner. What did he talk about in a room full of 1,200 business leaders?
He criticized his opponent's "divisive social agenda." Governor Doyle specifically cited his and the Chamber's opposition to the civil unions and marriage ban as an economic development concern. According to the Associated Press:
Doyle won applause when he noted that the Chamber of Commerce had come out against a constitutional amendment on the Nov. 7 ballot that would ban gay marriage in Wisconsin. Doyle said writing discrimination into the constitution would do little to improve the business climate.In most states that have faced these bans, leaders have opposed amendments but rarely spoke up about it, especially not when talking to corporate leaders, at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Day events, or small town newspapers. We've also seen leaders in other states simply say these amendments are unnecessary, but Governor Doyle has made it clear he thinks the ban is discriminatory.
Also on the business front, TDS announced yesterday that they are the latest Wisconsin employer to extend domestic partner coverage to their employees. From the Madison Ch. 27 coverage:
The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce applauded the move. "When you're looking at being competitive in a global economy, it's all about the workforce, and we cannot afford to discourage a single worker," said Chamber president Jennifer Alexander.
TDS, which includes TDS Metrocom, TDS Telecom, and US Cellular, isn't alone. About two dozen companies in south central Wisconsin offer some form of domestic partner benefits. Companies include Alliant Energy, Dean Health, and Sonic Foundry, according to a list compiled by Action Wisconsin.
Kampmeier said she hopes the extra benefits will be as good for business as promised. "We want to continue to track and retain more diverse employees because it helps us remain operationally effective, and if we're operationally effective, it also helps our bottom line," she said.
You can view a list of Wisconsin companies offering equal benefits at this Action Wisconsin Education Fund page.